International and Comparative User Rights in the Digital Economy

[PIJIP] On March 18, American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and the American University International Law Review (“AUILR”) will be conducting a symposium for the AUILR Focus Issue on International and Comparative User Rights in the Digital Economy. The Issue will present articles exploring how law and policy can play a key role in breaking down barriers to full participation in the digital economy through expansions of user rights – the rights of users to access, use and transform digital content to further social, economic, cultural and political purposes. The event is open to the public and will be webcast. Click here for more.

The New Guidelines for Computer Related Inventions Are a Big Win for FOSS in India!

[Pranesh Prakash] India is one of the few countries which permits patenting of software – a monopolization that has only benefited established corporations and largely throttled innovation in the software industry, worldwide. CIS has consistently advocated against patentability of software and in a major victory last week, software patenting in India died a little more. This happened via the newly issued Guidelines for the Examination of Computer Related Inventions, which introduces a new test to restrict software patenting – in essence the same legal test that CIS had been proposing since 2010. This post highlights the new test and other noteworthy changes in the Guidelines. Click here for more.

New Zealand Consultation on TPP Intellectual Property Implementation

[Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment] On 9 March 2016, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced the release of a consultation document that seeks feedback on how the Government proposes to implement the intellectual property changes required to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The consultation document focuses on those areas where New Zealand has some flexibility in how it implements its TPP intellectual property obligations. Click here for more.

TPP in Intellectual Property, Transparency, and Investment Chapters Threaten Access to Medicines in the US and Elsewhere

[Brook Baker] A new Pacific-Rim trade agreement threatens future access to affordable medicines in the United States and abroad. Buried in 6,000-plus pages of text, annexes, and side letters, there are multiple provisions—complex in their articulation, but simple in their effect: they dramatically increase monopoly protections for the transnational originator pharmaceutical industry. Click here for more.

MSF Responds to Media Reports on Indian Government’s Verbal Assurance to US Groups to Discontinue the Use of Compulsory Licence

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is deeply concerned about the recent revelations in the media that a US industry lobby group – the US India Business Council (USIBC) and US Chamber of Commerce – has received verbal, private assurances from Indian officials that it will not use ‘compulsory licensing’ (CL) for commercial purposes. The statements are part of USIBC’s submission to USTR’s (US Trade Representative) annual Special 301 report. Click here for more.

Harmony and Disharmony in International Patent Law

[Colleen Chien] Abstract: One of the purposes of the Trans‐Pacific Partnership (TPP) is to harmonize standards and create a uniform climate for trade and investment. As lawmakers deliberate the terms of the deal, they must consider what the long‐term impact of agreeing to its sweeping provisions will be. As they do so, they should keep in mind that the gaps between the agreed‐upon principles and local implementation, and the differences between local implementation – some of them by design – are often quite great. Drawing upon the existing literature, this short essay provides a survey of the extent of harmony and disharmony in the 20 years that have passed since ratification of the TRIPS agreement, with a focus on its patent provisions. Click here for more.